Mar 09

Welcome and Namaste πŸ™‚ 

Today is day two of our meditation challenge, I'm so happy you are here. We are exploring another one of the main skills that is cultivated in a meditation practice today: CLARITY. 

Clarity is another one of those umbrella terms for skills that are learned through a variety of traditions that I learned from one of my dear friends and teachers Jeff Warren. Jeff comes and leads meditation workshops at our retreats in Costa Rica and in our Yoga Teacher Trainings. His teachings are accessible and simplified in the most beautiful ways. 

One of the ways to explore clarity, is to simply become aware of when you're aware. When we begin to notice awareness itself, this pure awareness begins to come more into the foreground. The more we practice simply noticing when we are present, and focus on the qualities of awareness itself, we start to notice that this awareness has a quality of stillness, richness, fullness to it. 

Know that the mind will wander, as it does. 

Experts estimate that the mind thinks between 60,000 – 80,000 thoughts a day. That's an average of 2,500 – 3,300 thoughts per hour. That's incredible. Other experts estimate a smaller number, of 50,000 thoughts per day, which is still over 2,000 thoughts per hour.

This is what the mind is made to do.

However, it can also focus on this sense of spacious awareness and drop into stillness, which is a really great thing to learn to do. This slows the momentum of thoughts and allows us to be more discerning about which thoughts are helpful or hurtful. 

Today we are going to explore this concept in a really light-hearted and easeful way. I'm going to guide a practice that will include some pranayama that helps the mind to "purify" or "neutralize" of momentum of thoughts. Then, invite you to sense that already happening awareness that's always available when the mind slows down!  Allowing yourself to bask in "the light of awareness" as one of my teachers Tara Brach would say. 

Making the practice accessible is about finding ways to make it ENJOYABLE, easeful and liberating. So allow yourself to have fun with the process!

Please let me know in the comments below, what are your thoughts on this skill of Clarity? Cultivating that sense of "Pure Awareness". Is this something that naturally arises in your days? Or is it a new skill that you are working to cultivate? 

I'd love to hear a reflection of how the practice made you feel! Just scroll all the way down to the comments to leave your reflection! 

Haven't joined the challenge yet? Get on that! You should join us! 

Would you like to join Ally's next Online Journey of the Self? 

Check out her next Online Community Experience this Spring Equinox.

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On Instagram?  Post a reflection about your experience in the challenge using the hashtag: #meditatewithally  - we'd love to hear about your journey! Feel free to use the images below if you don't feel called to post your own image.

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About the Author

Ally Boothroyd is a yoga educator and meditation teacher with a passion for yoga nidra and the healing power of conscious rest. She is the founder of Sarovara Yoga, a yoga space and women's retreat centre in Ontario, Canada. A sanctuary on the water where she fosters local community and supports health, personal growth, emotional resiliency, authenticity, awareness, and awakening. Ally also leads Retreats and Yoga Teacher Trainings in Nosara, Costa Rica

  • Reanna says:

    I loved the phrase ‘basking in awareness’ – it helped me really drop in to the present. I feel calm and present to start my day. Thanks for this beautiful meditation Ally!

  • Stephanie Bryden says:

    Good morning! Thank you for this lovely meditation Ally. I felt very expanded during this meditation, it was like there was an energetic field and on the horizon a small white light. I felt like I was taking up this entire space..like I was one with it. I really enjoyed the feeling and when I drifted I brought myself back with my breath. I found myself much more distracted near the end of the meditation, when that happened I used the combination of breath and the sound of the water in the background.

    Namaste πŸ™

    • Ally says:

      That’s wonderful Stephanie, it’s so lovely to be able to drop into that state of absorption! Thanks for sharing your reflection with us! πŸ™‚

  • Sarah Condo says:

    Feeling bliss and calm this morning after our day 2 meditation video! Excited to make this into a daily morning ritual to start seeing the many benefits I’m learning about πŸ™‚

  • Lisa says:

    Good morning! Lovely way to start the day πŸ™‚ my mind was a bit all over the place but I was able to keep bringing it back. Thank you!

  • Julie says:

    The sounds in this meditation were amazing… I found myself just sinking into those sounds. Before I started meditation I struggled with all the thoughts going on in my mind…it was racing all the time from one thing to the next. But practicing awareness has been so helpful to slow the mind down and stay present in the moment. Thank you Ally I love waking up in Costa Rica! 😊

    • Ally says:

      Yes!! Waking up in Costa Rica is lovely isn’t it? πŸ™‚ I love hearing how meditation has shifted overtime for you Julie. So great to know that as we practice and practice, things shift so much over time

      • Julie says:

        I actually did it twice because the first time I found myself thinking more about what I should say about it lolπŸ€¦β€β™€οΈ… the second time I was able to really drop in. Progress not perfection. πŸ˜‰

  • Paula Lush says:

    Good morning Ally 😊 thank you for this meditation. I woke up this morning with alot going on in my head. So many thoughts came into my space…this time…I acknowledged and then let them go. I found I needed to refocus on my breathing a little more this time, however I did feel lightness towards the edge of the practice ( hope that makes sense). Thank you once again.
    NamasteπŸ™

    • Ally says:

      Beautiful reflection Paula, thank you for sharing it with us!!! It’s nice to be able to let the thoughts be there and be able to let them kinda drift away instead of diving right into them! πŸ™‚

  • Jennifer says:

    I felt light and airy, a real sense of spaciousness. I found this meditation easier and went by in no time. The sounds of the jungle are so lovely. πŸ’ 🌴 πŸƒ β˜€οΈ

  • Sonja says:

    I too am enjoying the sounds and your voice. I enjoyed the pranayama to begin. This felt spacious and calming. I liked the practical reminder of slipping out of clarity when we are in daily activities. The light metaphor is wonderful from Tara.

  • Sue Legree says:

    The beauty of meditation is over time with practice you can sink into it so easily like a pebble in a well. Now after many years when I sit on the cushion, as you say the practice emerges from within, there is no more “trying” to reach the meditative state, it just arises. I love how you are breaking down the tools needed in order to allow our Buddhanature to bubble up from within. Beautiful language.

  • Tara Lee says:

    Oooo β€œLight of awareness”…I love it! Great mediation this morning Ally. I loved how we dropped in with the pranayama. I really found it faster to disconnect and allow clarity. Loved it! Thank you πŸ™ xo

    • Ally says:

      Yes! Pranayama is so powerful for creating that sense of clarity isn’t it? I love that the tools work so well. Thank you Yoga! πŸ™‚

  • Melissa says:

    I was on the struggle bus this morning. I woke up not feeling well. The kids were super loins this morning and I just wasn’t feeling it. Due to congestion the pranayama just wasn’t happening. So rather than beat myself up over stopping partway through the session this morning I’m going to give myself a break and pick up again tomorrow with some lessons learned from this morning.

    • Ally says:

      Good for you Melissa. I’m proud of your decision and that your not making it a reason to just give up altogether. See you tomorrow! πŸ™‚

  • joanne cooper says:

    Thank you ally for the calming meditation guidance this morning.I was feeling restless and tired and the pranayama helped to get me to focus and relax for the lesson that followed.The sounds in the background really kept my awareness present. I am so new to meditation that I am struggling with the ability not to fidget and to sit in stillness. I hope that with each new day and each new practice I will gain the skills for meditation. I do feel that I was able about half way through to move back and forth from my thoughts to find clarity and finally settled into to what felt like a mini breakthrough if that makes any sense. Thank you
    Namaste

    • Ally says:

      Hey Joanne, one thing that can be helpful is to allow a little bit of a sway or a spiral in the body! This can help a lot with fidgeting. You might try it and let me know how it goes! πŸ™‚

  • Teghan G says:

    This was wonderful. I was surprised how quickly it went. I was interrupted by my dogs in the middle but I felt like I was able to melt right back into it almost seamlessly rather than getting frustrated. You have such a calming voice, and once again the sounds of Costa Rica nature were a lovely focal point! Thank you.

    • Ally says:

      Aweeeee pups, they always seem to get interested in yoga and meditation lol… yes, popping right back into it is a skill I’m also honing as a mom!!! Sometimes I’m like DEEP in a meditative state and then I hear “MOM!!!” hahaha she’s getting a little better at letting me sit and being patient over time

      • Teghan G says:

        Haha, yes mine are quite interested in trying to participate in my at home yoga practice, which is cute but not always super helpful! I can imagine it might be the same with little ones!!

  • Judi says:

    This was a wonderful meditation. I had to call the puppy back lovingly a couple of times but I also found myself sinking in to the awareness. I had a challenging day at work and this was the perfect way to let go into a space of peace & calm. Thank you, Ally. I look forward to practicing with you tomorrow.

    • Ally says:

      Awe, that’s so wonderful Judi. I love how gentle you are about training your puppy πŸ™‚ so great, this took me a while to realize that I should be more kind and gentle with my pup! LOL… see you tomorrow!

  • Susie says:

    Thank you Al! Really enjoyed that practice of sitting with clarity. I had a busy day and that was such a peaceful way to unwind. Xo

    • Ally says:

      So wonderful Susie. I’m loving your dedication and participation in this challenge! I’m so excited about it, thanks for practicing with me and always taking the time to connect and share your experience. Love you girl. Xo

  • Stella says:

    Thank you – I could feel the spaciousness until my mind darted away and I had to bring it back again. The time went very quickly. I am interested in the breathwork at the beginning – I have never done that pranayama before – is it often done at the start of meditation? Does it have a name – it would be great to know more
    Thank you

    • Ally says:

      Hey Stella, this is a pranayama that I learned years and years ago from a Kundalini Yoga teacher. There are many pranayamas and kriyas in Kundalini yoga and I believe this may actually be considered to be a Kriya (a cleansing technique) for the mind. πŸ™‚ I also share lots of other pranayamas on my website. One that I would recommend trying out is nadi shodhana – there’s a variation of it here on my website – https://allyboothroyd.com/breath-to-calm-the-nervous-system-2/

  • Sharon says:

    Good morning. I tend to not be a morning person and forced myself to get out of bed and meditate this morning and I’m happy I did. Meditation is fairly new to me other than the little bits I’ve done in yoga class. I found this morning a bit of a struggle to find my awareness and to stay in that awareness and not let my mind wander too far, sometimes it gets lost. I am happy that I found this meditation challenge and hope to make it part of my morning routine.
    Thank you

    • Ally says:

      Hey Sharon, yes! I love that you tried the morning and found it was a good option for you. It really is a helpful practice to have first thing in the morning. It’s also great though for winding down at night… Once you feel that you have more of a practice that arises more naturally, it can be great throughout the day. It’s just a bit harder to do this in the beginning, it’s harder to calm the mind down once it’s already in full active mode!! πŸ™‚

  • Kait says:

    Really enjoyed this practice and am loving the way the whole 10 day challenge is set up.

    • Ally says:

      I’m so glad to hear this Kait!!! Wonderful πŸ™‚ I’m glad you are enjoying it, I put a lot of thought into it. Thanks for practicing with me.

  • Shannon R says:

    Beautiful practice on clarity. Loved the pranayama at the start. Xo

    • Ally says:

      Yes! I love pranayama before a meditation practice. I find I can “drop in” so much easier. Glad you liked the practice on clarity Shannon πŸ™‚

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